NAVAL AIR STATION SIGONELLA, Sicily— Recently, Master Sgt. Justin Royse, 7th Reconnaissance Squadron metals technician, attended a U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Course at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily.
The course evaluates performance by challenging team and individual strengths while it fosters values of humility, trust, and loyalty.
“The Air Force doesn’t offer an intensive leadership course for E-7 and above, it’s a one week indoctrination,” Royse said. “Given this chance to partake in a six week leadership course with the Navy, I took advantage of it.”
Royse was the only Air Force member to be invited during this course period. This provided him to build a strong network with Navy chiefs and network in the joint environment of Sigonella.
“Basically it was learning how to lead under duress,” Royse said. “How do you perform as a leader and keep everyone together and on the same page when you’re not under the best circumstances. There’s a lot of task saturation to figure out what your priorities are and what you need to focus on first and foremost.”
Some of the challenges the students face are team building, physical training, and various leadership scenarios aimed at strengthening leadership.
Royse stated, the physical aspect tested the class to learn to work as a team and get rid of that “I” mentality and bring everyone to your level to execute objectives.
At the end of the course, Royse received an honorary Navy chief petty officer anchor, which is given to all who completed the course and rising to the rank of chief.
“This was way more intense than I anticipated,” Royse said. “I was challenged more than I was my entire career and it made me really reflect on my leadership. I thought I’d learned everything there is about leadership but after learning how Navy chiefs operate, I was able to step out of my shell and develop further.”